Miracle just ahead, printed on a board

Unrecognized Miracles

Reading the Scriptures daily reveals the truth of God. The only problem is that sometimes we can get a skewed version of the truth. This is especially the case when it comes to miracles. We read about miracle healings ‘just about’ every day throughout the year. It is almost as if everyone received a miracle, but that isn’t true. It can lead to confusion today.

In those days, while the healed lame man clung to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s, astounded. And when Peter saw it he addressed the people, “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And his name, by faith in his name, has made this man strong whom you see and know; and the faith which is through him has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.”

Acts 3.11-16

In today’s readings from the Acts of the Apostles we hear about the ‘follow up’ to yesterday’s miracle healing by Peter and John. “Why do you wonder at this?” Of course, the crowed witnessed the miracle and were truly amazed, so Peter and John were able to explain the awesome power of God, and many were converted.

Consider for a moment the many miracles that take place today. I’m not talking about healing miracles. Although those types of miracles do happen, modern medicine has improved so greatly that most healing is done through the practice of medicine, but we still thank God.

There are many more miracles that are never recognized. These are on my mind today. They aren’t about healing the sick. They aren’t about turning back flood waters. They most definitely aren’t about getting bread from a rock. The unrecognized miracles I’m talking about are changed hearts.

Today’s society has so turned against God, I consider it a miracle of sorts that anyone has the courage to turn toward Him. Despite being mocked on social media and knowing many might lose their job, still many people choose to follow Christ, and they do it publicly.

If a miracle is something that reveals the awesome power of God, then choosing God today definitely has my vote. Sure, it may not be a technical miracle. It may not defy scientific explanation, but it reveals something greater than science.

These same choices to follow Christ were the same miracles that ‘won over’ the Roman Empire for God. Despite the ‘world power’ of Rome, the Apostles (mere fishermen) had the presence to stand up publicly for their faith and the power of God. The result was that many chose God also.

Stop looking for healing miracles and look instead for ‘life choice’ miracles. Search for those who choose to be public followers of Christ despite the social pressure to walk away. Search for those modern martyrs whose ‘life choices’ lead others toward Christ instead of away from Him.

These are the miracles of our day because they reveal the power of God. Modern medicine has the ‘healing game’ locked up, and that is its own blessing. That frees us up to use our choices to inspire others to follow Christ.

Saint John Chrysostom speaks about the power of God in the life choices of the Apostles. If these mere fishermen could lead a movement that conquered the great Roman Empire, then the power of God must be behind them.

We are still in the glow of the Resurrection. Just as the first believers depended on their witness of God’s power to ‘inspire’ their life choices, we can and should do the same. We just celebrated the greatest miracle of all times. That same power will stand behind us in our life choices and lead others to follow Christ, but only if we recognize it.

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